About the Author

Patrick Grealy

Ranger

Patrick was born and raised in Johannesburg and from a young age dreamt about living in the bush. He grew up going on family holidays to Madikwe in the North West where his passion grew. After high school Patrick went to the Eastern ...

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10 Comments

on Can Hippos Swim?

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Francesca Doria
Digital Tracker

Very interesting thank you! I’ve loved hippos since I was a child. I’ve always thought they must be very helpful for riverbanks and riverbed but now after your explanation all is clear. I’m very happy that they have a perfect home at Londolozi!

Cally Staniland
Digital Tracker

A great article Patrick with some fascinating facts. Do hippo suffer from skin damage from the sun on their heads then? Also am I right is believing that they suffer from Bilharzia?

Thanks for this very interesting blog, Patrick! I hope you had a great visit with your parents.

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Patrick, what you describe about pathways in rivers and channels of water is extremely evident when flying over Botswana’s delta areas. The underwater highways stand out in sharp contrast to the green water reeds of those streams. It’s fascinating to behold.

William Paynter
Senior Digital Ranger

Patrick, thanks for the information about hippos. I had not thought of their part in the echo system and water courses.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Great response Patrick to a very common question. It is logical to think hippos can swim since most of the time we see them in water, many times moving from one spot to another. I had not considered their walking along the river bed would in fact, contribute to the continuous flow of a river. Considering the climate changes earth is experiencing, hippos are playing an important role in the many rivers and tributaries throughout their African habitats, unwittingly contributing to the wellbeing of other animals.

Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

Hi Patrick, very interesting stats about the hippos. They maintain the river courses throughout Africa which is a major plus point. Cannot imagine the rivers without them. Londolozi is very lucky to have so many hippos in the rivers there.

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

A really interesting blog Patrick. It is amazing how all wildlife really helps the environment. Londolozi is indeed very fortunate to have a river running through it, which sustains all forms of wildlife within it’s boundaries. Thank you for sharing with us – enjoyed it very much.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Patrick, thanks for the great explanation about Hippos! On one of our drives at Londolozi a few years ago, we had a first-hand experience that showed us how they are many times they are laying down in the water and not floating. On one particular drive there was a pod of Hippos in a watering hole, and one of them kept staring at us as we were perched along the banks. All of a sudden he charged – coming up out of the water and coming towards us in a splash, but sitting back down just as quickly. It was a great education that showed us that many times they are laying on the bottom in fairly shallow water, not floating!

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

I love watching hippos (from a car or a safe distance!!); their quarrels and “discussions” are fun to see and hear.
Thanks for this great articles on these interesting animals.

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